Having worked as an Internal Recruitment Professional and a Recruitment Agency Consultant, I have 20+ years industry experience and have seen and read thousands of Curriculum Vitae’s (CVs). I have just about seen it all … from CVs representing an encyclopedia of data to very confused, disorganised summaries of work.
Your CV is your initial introduction to a prospective employer. How you present your professional ‘brand’ on your CV will determine whether you make it to the next step in the employment process. I believe there is no one correct style or a one size fits all template for putting a CV together. I do know that employers want to read a clear, organised and professional summary about your career and why you are the right candidate for the role.
There are loads of resources available about what to include in your CV, but what should you leave out or change?
Here are my top 5 recommendations:
When you are applying for a job, your email address reflects your professional brand and establishes that critical first impression. For this reason, PLEASE don’t use an email address like ‘lookingforfun@......’ or ‘reddevil@......’, recruitment consultants do look at these addresses. Take the time to create an email account that best represents you for job applications. For example, use email addresses that contain your first and last name or your initials.
It is great to upload photos onto your social media pages that are fun and lively, however, when you are attaching one to your CV, please ensure that they represent your professional brand and not a ‘glamour’ shot.
I once had a junior applicant put a photo of herself in a red bikini on the front page of her CV. Being a junior applicant, I called her to discuss the do’s & don’ts of CV preparation. Her concerned father answered my call as she had been inundated by unwelcome interest after sending her CV out to many companies. I invited the junior and her parents in for a meeting to discuss how to present a professional CV which resulted in her succeeding in her job search.
Also remember the photo needs to be a reasonable file size, especially if you are sending an electronic copy.
Employment history gaps:
When reviewing your CV, recruiters do a quick scan to determine your suitability. If you have any gaps in your employment history, it is best to explain them so that you are not overlooked.
If you have taken a career break to pursue further study, to travel, for parental leave or for any other reason it is important to state the reason for your absence along with the time period.
Unnecessary template design:
Keep it simple. The best way to present a professional CV is to remember that more is not necessarily better. A CV that is well laid out, organised and simple in design will always succeed over an extravagant fluffy layout.
If you are sending an electronic link of your CV, please make sure that the link is functional and not broken. Potential employers or recruiters don’t have the time to be researching your broken link and it is unprofessional. You could also include a link to your Facebook &/or LinkedIn profile as most prospective employers will look you up on social media anyway.
Need help to put a professional CV together?
Please message AUSTrecruits or call 0431 720 051.